There was a very long pause in room. I just stared at him, studying his face. And then, I busted into laughter. He narrowed his eyes, but I just couldn’t stop laughing. “Yeah, okay. Just because your name is Hades,” I said, going on with my rolls of laughter. “That’s too funny!”
“It’s true,” he defended himself. He sounded like a child, demanding his parents to listen to him.
“I suppose since your name is Hades, you’re the king of this dead place too?” I mocked him. “I’m the king,” I started to say, in a very deep, god awful man voice, “I am the ruler of the dead, and I bring girls back here to impress them.”
He folded his arms, and I could see steam coming from his ears. “Steffi, it’s true.”
“Bring back girls here to impress them?” I asked.
He blushed. “No! I don’t do that.”
“Let me guess,” I said, unable to stop teasing him. “You don’t do this often.”
“I don’t. Look, Steffi,” he said, putting a hand on his forehead. “I guess I should explain it a little better.”
“Okay,” I said, laughing, taking the water bottle off his desk. He grabbed my wrist in midair, and dragged me out of the chair. “Hey,” I said, leaving the water behind. “Where are we going?”
“You’ll see,” he told me. “I know it sounds crazy without proof, so I am showing you.”
“Showing me what?” I asked. He didn’t answer me, he just kept dragging me down the hallway. I started to remember my dream and how the long hall. When we came out and entered a large room, it was just like my dream.
I gasped. The throne room, just like the one from my dream. “You know this place, don’t you?”
“My . . . I had a-”
“Dream? No, that wasn’t a dream little bird. I don’t know what it is, but we are connected. You came here a few nights ago. No one can ever do that.”
I turned around and looked out the large window. It was not a small town with mountains view like from my dorm room. It was a large city below us, going on for miles and miles and miles.
“Is this a dream? Now?” I asked, unable to look away.
“No, you’re here.”
“So . . . you’re . . .Hades? Like . .. you’re death? Oh my god! Am I dead?” I said, starting to panic. I can’t die. My mother would freak out.
“No, and I am not death. That’s Thanatos. And he has his own department. I am not death, I do not cause it. I run this place, the underworld, making sure everything is smooth and going right. Because if everything is good here, everything is good up there.”
“So, you’re really Hades.”
I tried to wrap my head around this. “But . . . we went on a date?”
He raised an eyebrow. “Yes?”
“Like . . . we were normal and stuff. And you . . . we went to a bookshop.”
“Even the God of the Underworld needs a break once in a while.”
“Is this a prank?”
“Do you wish it to be a prank?” he asked.
“I feel like it would just make more sense, you know?” I said. I sat down on the marvel floor, staring out to the dark city. “When are you taking me back?”
To my surprise, he sat on the floor next to me. “Whenever you want. Do you want to go back now?”
“No . . . This is . . . interesting I suppose. I just, it’s hard to believe. I thought you were just a myth.”
“I’m real,” he said, holding my hand. I looked at him, and saw the kind look in his bright eyes. I couldn’t help myself to smile at him.
“So, Hades, God of the Underworld . . . do you have any food? I’m starving.”
“I don’t have any imported food.”
“That’s okay,” I shrugged. “I’m not picky.”
“If you eat food here, you will never be allowed to leave.”
I frowned. “Oh . . . Yeah, that maybe a problem.”
“Do you not want to live here?” he asked.
“In the land of the dead?” I asked him, rising an eyebrow. I was a human girl who was barely 21 years old. I had some living to do damn it.
“I suppose it’s not your time. Would you ever want to live here, with me?”
My mouth hung open. “But I barely know you.”
“I don’t mean now, of course, later on.”
“Well, would you want me to live here?”
“I would very much like that.”
I looked to the city. “Where are the mountains? The trees?”
“What do you mean?”
“Do you even have a garden?” I asked him. He thought about it for a long time.
“No . . . maybe you can grow me one?”
I smiled. “One day.”
“I look forward to that.”